F1 cars to get lighter in 2026? Examining Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso’s perspective

Formula One cars are known to be the fastest racing machines on the planet and that is possible due to a myriad of factors. The biggest of them being the weight of the cars. Max Verstappen and Alonso share their two cents about the same. 

The minimum weight required for a formula one car is currently set at 798kg excluding the weight of the fuel. The Max fuel capacity of an F1 car is set at 110kg. Hence the overall weight of the car would be 908kg pre-race start. 

Similarly, the drivers also have to meet a weight requirement of a minimum of 80kg. Starting in the year 2019, this rule was meant to rule out any advantage or disadvantage possessed by drivers of varying weights. Previously the weight of the drivers was included holistically along with the total weight of the car. 

However, acquiring greater speeds, teams instructed drivers and their cars to be lighter than what was prescribed healthily. Hence the rule came into effect for better health prospects for the drivers. 

What are Max Verstappen’s views on lighter cars?

“Honestly, that’s going to be a bit unrealistic to achieve because otherwise, we wouldn’t have been this heavy anyway, right? Also, in 2026 with the bigger battery, that will weigh a lot more, so I’m not sure if that’s heading in the right direction,” told Max Verstappen when asked about the possibility of lighter cars. 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Two-time world champion believes that with the onset of hybrid battery engines which are heavier than conventional engines, it would be tougher to actualize the dream of having lighter cars by 2026. 

The Dutchman commented, “But I will always be in favour of lighter cars because I already enjoyed the ’21 car more than what we have now in terms of how agile it was. Now the car in the low speed is a bit of a boat,” about the 2021 car which was lighter by 46Kg 

Does Fernando Alonso favour lighter cars like Max Verstappen?

In 2001, in Alonso’s debut season, the weight of an F1 car was only 600kg. The experienced Spaniard brings forward a different facet to the discussion by talking about the dimensions rather than the weight of the cars. 

The most recent upgrade took place in 2017 when they were widened to 2m and the current batch of cars has reached an all-time length of 5.63m.

“I think it’s more the size than the weight of the cars, which makes things a little bit more difficult,” Alonso commented.

“Into the first couple of corners of a race, it is difficult now to position the car just because of the size of it, not because of the weight of the car. But at the end of the day, I think it’s more the size that makes racing more difficult.” Alonso had further added.

An interesting fact to be noted regarding F1 cars is that the heaviest part is the engine weighing 150kg, whilst the lightest part is the steering wheel weighing only 1.3kg.

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Motorheads want lighter cars but it should not come at the cost of being unsustainable. Therefore the FIA needs to find the middle ground between speed and sustainability in the coming seasons. 


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